Greek Cypriots Need Casino Gambling Revenue

Published Monday, April 01, 2013 -

Cyprus is in a state of financial crisis as the world watches the split country struggle with huge debt while looking for remedies to alleviate the situation. One proposed remedy has been the introduction of casino gambling to the Greek Cypriot side of the island. The danger with this proposition is the fact that such as measure may offend the church. Online Poker recently revealed the government has said that casinos and card rooms could garner as much as 50 million euro or $64 million dollars in annual taxation revenue. President Nicos Anastasiades if the proposition succeeds will be at odds with the influential Greek Orthodox Church who are adamantly opposed to gambling.

Many Greek Cypriots still travel to the northern Turkish side of the island to play at over 20 casinos established in that region. Turkish Cypriots are disappointed that the Greek side has found itself in such a bind financially. The Turkish Cypriot President Dervis Eroglu commented on the situation saying, “The fact that our southern neighbours have gone into this kind of crisis does not please us. This may be one of the factors that is likely to delay a settlement. It may also force our good friend Mr. Anastasiades to spend all his energy on economic problems and have less time to devote to the negotiation process,” Talks of reuniting the island have been ongoing since the Turks invaded in 1974 resulting in a divided nation with UN backed demilitarized zone in the middle.

Greek Cypriot Minister of Tourism George Lakkotrypis said he hopes to have the first casino up and running within two years. This is political nightmare for the president who is desperate to find financial sources to help with the crisis. Gambling and the taxes garnered by licenses and fees could be a productive way to produce revenue but the powerful church leaders have been setting the code of conduct for decades, the question remains, will the church concede?

Related news

Return to Latest News